GLOW Discussions (faculty)


Discussions in GLOW (Canvas) enable threaded conversations among faculty and students in a course. Discussions can include text, images, audio, video, and files, and can be graded or ungraded. Faculty can manage Discussions exclusively, or can allow students to create Discussions as well.

Beyond the native Discussion feature, Williams provides alternative tools to facilitate academic conversations, such as Perusall, which can be integrated into a GLOW course. Your department’s Academic Technology Consultant can be an excellent partner in implementing your specific pedagogical designs in the GLOW environment.

Creating a Discussion

In the Discussions Index, use the +Discussion button to create a new Discussion. The Discussions Index contains 3 areas:

  • Pinned Discussions: A Discussion only appears in the “Pinned Discussions” area if a faculty member manually moves it there. For example, faculty may want a specific Discussion to always appear prominently, regardless of recent activity.
  • Discussions: All Discussions default to the “Discussions” area, sorted with the most-recently-active Discussions at the top.
  • Closed for Comments: A Discussion will appear in the “Closed for Comments” section only after its “Until” date has passed.

Options available when creating a Discussion include: date fields, user response options (including threading, a requirement to post before seeing others’ posts, and social-media-style “liking”), and the same grade-related options as Assignments (if the Discussion is marked as graded).

N.B.: A common use-case in online discussions involves setting multiple deadlines, one for an initial post and another for follow-up posting. GLOW does not currently support multiple due-dates in a single Discussion.

options available when creating a Canvas Discussion
Assignment options become available once a Discussion is marked “graded”.

Using a Discussion

When a student clicks in the Reply box below a Discussion prompt, they can compose their post in the standard Rich Content Editor, then click the Post Reply button. If enabled in the course Settings, they can use the Attach link to upload a file as part of their post, and edit or delete their own replies after posting.

Once a student posts to a Discussion, they are automatically subscribed to it, meaning that they will receive notifications for future posts to that Discussion. Posts automatically display the image and name of the poster, and are date- and time-stamped.

When faculty use SpeedGrader to view a graded Discussion, multiple posts from a single student are automatically grouped together for viewing and grading. Faculty can always view posts in their original context by viewing the full Discussion.